A one-of-a-kind voice lights up this witty, heartwarming debut set in 1985 Tennessee about the power of homespun wisdom (even when it's wrong), the clash between appearances and secrets, and the barriers to getting help even when it's needed most. Lyndie B. Hawkins loves history, research, and getting to the truth no matter what. But when it comes to her family, her knowledge is full of holes. Like, what happened to her father in the Vietnam War? Where does he disappear to for days? And why exactly did they have to move in with her grandparents? Determined to mold recalcitrant Lyndie into a nice Southern girl even if it kills her, her fusspot grandmother starts with lesson number one: Family=Loyalty=keeping quiet about family secrets. Especially when it comes to Lyndie's daddy. Then DB, a boy from the local juvenile detention center comes to stay with Lyndie's best friend, Dawn. He's as friendly and open as a puppy. There to shape up his act, he has an optimism that's infectious. But it puts Lyndie in direct opposition to her grandmother who'd rather keep up appearances than get her son the help he needs.
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"Narrator Sandy Rustin portrays the innocence of 11-year-old Lyndie B. Hawkins and her puzzlement over the adults in her life. Rustin vividly depicts Lyndie's memories of the idyllic life she once had with her father, a Vietnam vet, and her mother, a pacifist. Then the family moves in with her domineering grandmother, who is strongly portrayed by Rustin. Rustin emphasizes the contrast between Lyndie's two lives. Her mother is now in a near-catatonic depression, her father unsuccessfully hides his alcoholism and PTSD, and her grandmother's sense of pride is overwhelming. School portraits are just as vivid as Rustin depicts Lyndie's shifting relationship with her lifelong friend, Dawn, and with the reform-school boy whom Dawn's family is fostering. S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine"
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